Mo Town Philly Back Again
It’s been a while since we did a Friday Hootnanny, Boys to Men…ABC..BBD…the East Coast Family, sorry I got caught up singing along while typing. This was fitting since the name of this song was the inspriration for the beer I brewed in collaboration with Sixpoint in Brooklyn. I can’t take credit for the name though, I’ll explain in a bit.
I’ve been busy with the day job and have not had time to sit down and put into words the brew day last week in a cold and rainy Brooklyn. The trip to New York to brew with Sixpoint had many good memories attached to it, some of which are a bit hazy. See, a good friend of mine is the Executive Chef now at the Breslin. So, of course I used my trip to NY as an excuse to “treat yo’ self” and meet some friends for dinner and dine at the Breslin to experience her cooking. It was the beginning of a great 24 hours of food, beer and friends. I had dinner with a friend from college who I don’t see enough any more due to life in general, and who I always enjoy sharing a few pints with and having good conversation. Dinner was accentuated by plates being sent out to us to share by my friend in the kitchen. We ate like kings, and I drank like one too. The Breslin has two cask ales both rarities in the beer world, and both sessionable British style ales that complimented our dinner well. After a delishious and relax dinner, I met up with another friend and my brewing compatriot Ryan. Ryan and I were to brew together at Sixpoint the next day, but first we wanted to hit some beer bars in Manhattan. We were only a few blocks from Rattle n’ Hum, so off we went to explore one of New York’s more popular craft beer bars. A few pints there, we walked back to the Breslin and the ACE Hotel to have a night cap with my chef friend from the Breslin. A night cap turned into a few hours of talking beer, food and life at the bar – leaving Ryan and I primed for three hours of sleep before having to head to Redhook to brew at Sixpoint.
Needless to say, waking up Thursday sucked, and getting to Brooklyn in a pouring rain sucked even more. Both hurting from the night before, Ryan and I met Sean from Sixpoint at 8am sharp to start our brew session. We brewed on a More Beer 25 gallon Tippy BrewSculpture - Sixpoints laboratory for beer. We got a quick tour of their facility (15bbl brew house, fight tightly into a corner surrounded by a series of 15 and 30 bbl fermentors), and learned what the plan was for the day. We were to get the brew started early, so they could begin a second brew day with an other collaboration by mid day. The plan was to mash in their beer as we were ending our boil. Sean (not me) had already started to get the water to mash temperature before we arrived, so all I had to do was review the recipe that Head Brewery Ian McConnell created for their system based on my original recipe I emailed a few weeks ahead of time. We were to brew a version of my Monumental Porter – but with an ale yeast, and slightly upgraded grain bill. Speaking of yeast, I was able to get Al from East Coast Yeast to send over a starter for our batch using his ECY10 Newark strain. It is a strain he grew from some plates from the old Ballentine brewery in NJ. I’ve used this yeast to great success before and thought it’d be a great addition to this beer. Anywho, Ian’s tweeks did not alter the recipe much at all, and we were off to the mill room to mill our grains.
One we mashed in, our hangovers were hitting us hard. Hence why there are little to no pictures of Ryan or I during the brew process. We looked and felt horrible. With some time to spare while the grains mashed, we walked to a near by store for some serious egg sandwich hangover food. We returned to find the next team of collaborative brewers had arrived. James and Brady, friends and homebrewers from Washington D.C. They are also Brooklyn expats and big fans of Sixpoint. (You can follow their beer lives on Twitter here. ) We began vorlauf and transfer of the sweet wort to the boil kettle (we being Sean, from Sixpoint, while Ryan and I sat and watched.) The beer had the expected color and smelled just outstanding. We tasted a bit of the wort at this point too…all was looking good.
The rest of the brew day went on without a hitch. We added two pounds of molasses to the end of the boil, and Ryan and I took turns adding the yeast to the beer so as to make it a true team effort. At the end we realized we still had no name, and with little to no functioning brain cells thanks to the evening before, no names were coming to mind. Brady stepped in and said, I think you should name your beer Mo Town Philly Molasses Porter. We laughed, and said we’d take it into consideration. After a day or so, the name really began to stick and the more I thought about it, the more I liked it. Small Philly guys collaborating for a beer to be tasted in Brooklyn. It felt right to represent and go with a little Boyz II Men action in the name. I mean the song is about their rise, and how they began. It just all seemed a perfect analogy for Mellody Brewing. So, that’s how we got the name, and how you got to sit here, and read this while listening to The Boys from South Philly sing about their rise to stardom. After listening to the lyrics again, I can say, this beer will be “not too hard, not too soft, live and direct from Philly.”
If you are in NY/NJ and want to taste Mo Town Philly Molasses Porter – you’ll have to get tickets to Beer for Beasts, Saturday March 31. There are two sessions, the beer will be served during both. I’ll be there to, so if you do go, please let me know and come say hello. Tickets go on sale February 1.